Ripple Labs Did Create XRP Says Independent Solicitor

Independent solicitor and law consultant, Preston Byrne, gave his view on the Ripple-XRP ownership debate recently, where he insisted that Ripple Laboratories are the true creators and issuers of XRP.

The post on Byrne’s website was retweeted by Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, and immediately the XRP army arrived en masse to attempt to rebuke the claims. At the same time, onlookers continued to throw the ‘C’ word at XRP fans, as many stuck to their guns that XRP was indeed centralized.

For The Last Time…

Byrne’s post from September 20th starts off on the front foot:

“There has been a meme propagated in recent months by the folks over at Ripple Labs. That meme is that the cryptocurrency token known as “Ripple” or “XRP” has absolutely nothing to do with Ripple Labs the company, that XRP pre-existed Ripple Labs the company and was gifted to it, and that the protocol that runs XRP is totally decentralized, à la Bitcoin.”

Reference is then made to Ripple Labs testimony delivered on May 1st at the British Parliament’s Treasury Select Committee hearing. Ryan Zagone, Ripple Director of Regulatory Relations had this to say during his testimony:

“XRP is open source and it was not created by our company, so that existed as an open source technology. We created a company that was interested in modernizing payments and then began using that open-source tech to do so … We didn’t create XRP… What we do have is we do own a significant amount of XRP, it was gifted to us by some of the open-source developers that created it. But there’s not a direct connection between Ripple the company and XRP.”

He Said, She Said…

At this point, both sides have their arguments and they seem to sticking to them. Why Ripple would want to distance themselves from XRP is a question that Byrne tackles:

“Why Ripple Labs has elected to push this line of reasoning, I cannot say. If I had to venture a guess, I should think that running a company that does not manage or issue a cryptocurrency is far less of a pain in the ass than running one that does.”

This has been the suspicion among XRP critics for some time now. If true, it would mean being able to conveniently sidestep all the regulatory issues that cryptocurrency has been faced with since it became too big not to get noticed. Byrne continues:

“Bolting on a token to one’s commercial offering means introducing into one’s life a panoply of the worst and best elements of the crypto world: community management, troll bot armies on Twitter, Telegram groups, Subreddits, and the like. It also promises the possibility of undertaking some of cryptoland’s most sublime pleasures, including sending some love letters to any or all of the Securities and Exchange Commission, FinCEN and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.”

Where Next?

Well, Ripple Labs is currently dealing with five lawsuits, including two in federal courts. The recent announcement by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton may also have a ‘ripple effect’ on the future outcome between Ripple Labs and the courts, either for good or bad.

To give Ripple and the XRP their due, the outcome is far from certain, and we should refrain from hasty judgement until due process has had its say. Not to mention the fact that XRP recently (briefly) took over second spot from Ethereum on market cap rankings, and surged by 115% in one day. Trade volumes peaked at $5 billion today – twice that of Ethereum and only half a billion off of Bitcoin.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Greg Thomson is a freelance writer who contributes to leading cryptocurrency and blockchain publications like CCN, Hacked, and others.